Timber neighbourhood hosts Timber Construction Day

De Zwarte Hond, together with the Bremer Home Foundation, is developing a 10-hectare housing neighbourhood in the east of Bremen built almost entirely out of wood: the Neuer Ellener Hof. As a building material, timber is currently in demand thanks to its technical possibilities and positive impact on reducing CO2 emissions. At the same time, projects such as the Ellener Hof are few and far between. The neighbourhood was therefore the perfect location to host the first edition of the Bremer Timber Construction Day, which took place on Monday 11 November.

De Zwarte Hond designed the master plan for the new Ellener Hof and has a supervisory role overseeing the architects involved in the project. The starting point for the design was the concept of a village that has evolved organically. Natural and recyclable materials are used for the construction of the new homes, in this case mainly wood. The first buildings are now under construction. The timber neighbourhood is expected to attract a lot of interest. "in northern Germany the field of timber construction is catching up," says architect and urban planner Matthias Rottmann, partner at De Zwarte Hond. “it is happening not only in design, but also in the construction industry. Timber construction requires specific expertise, new production processes and different suppliers.” During the Timber Construction Day, Rottmann was a guest speaker in a forum about the importance of timber construction for sustainable urban development and climate protection.

Research and knowledge development
A strategy to ensure the success of the project is to share current research and knowledge about timber construction with the architects involved. For this reason De Zwarte Hond organised a series of workshops at the start of the project with four architectural firms, which happened parallel with the development of the overall design guidelines for the project. The workshop covered topics such as the qualities of the material, types of constructions, use of timber within the design guidelines and the impact of regulations. The first designs were developed here, resembling almost prototypes. The end result was a design manual that defines quality standards, building heights and building methods, while at the same time supports the creativity and innovation of the individual architects.

The new Bremen house
in the design guidelines for the Ellener Hof, De Zwarte Hond specifies the use of exposed timber. For example, the timber structure should not be concealed under plasterwork. The individual architecture can be distinguished in other ways such as facade patterns. The first results can be seen in the brochure Das ‘neue’ Bremer Haus. ihr Reihenhaus im grünen Bremer Osten. (The ‘new’ Bremen house. Your terrace house in green Bremen East).